We can rightly say that the continuous prosperity of this State and its residents rests in the hands of the people seated in this room today. We are the key players called to serve, protect and harness her resources. That is the tough responsibility before you all presently.
Clearly, we have recorded some modest successes and consolidated on the status of our State as one of the foremost commercial and social hubs in sub Saharan Africa. We are gradually changing the face of Lagos through our aggressive infrastructural development, urban regeneration and sectoral reforms.
All the development indices, both local and international, reflect the fact that we are making steady progress with very bright outlook for the foreseeable future. This progress is not the result of only one person’s efforts. It was not achieved by only Akinwunmi Ambode. It was achieved by all of us in this room with the cooperation of many others outside. And for this I commend each and every one of you for your diligence and contribution to the progress made thus far.
However, there is still a lot more to be done. I hear people saying that this is an election year and that governance will slow down but let me assure you that in this State, we will stay focused on our plans and programmes and ensure steady progress is achieved.
As we strive to complete all on-going projects, we should start thinking of the next level. That is why we are gathered at this retreat to take stock of our achievements and brainstorm on the challenges ahead. That is why the theme of our retreat is “EFFECTIVE STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR AN EMERGING SMART CITY”.
From this theme, one thing is certain; Lagos is an emerging smart city. The challenge is; how do we effectively and strategically plan to actualize this vision considering our own peculiar challenges?
To plan effectively and strategically requires us to think, not just outside the box but to think globally and act locally. We must look beyond our borders for ideas but consider all our local situation. We must do things differently, be ready to be called names and to encounter resistance. But we must remain steadfast and let posterity judge our actions and intentions. Someday, the resistance will become support and endorsement.
We are all well-aware that the last Two and a Half years have been borne with a lot of sectoral reforms and majorly successful. However, reforms are not static and they require continuous review as the society we live in is also not static.
Some of our reforms remain challenging because of institutional difficulties and corruption. We presently experience this in some of our on-going reforms.
My message remains the same. Our conviction is resolute. We are totally for inclusive governance. This is a people-government and what would be of benefit to the majority of the citizenry should be our primary goal.
Building effective and efficient institutions should be our goal henceforth. The institutional framework that will drive a successful MDA is what should be of concern to all of us. Institutions that are enduring should outlive me or anyone of us, likewise our reforms in the various sectors.
We have set attainable goals for ourselves but we must maximize our strengths and areas of comparative advantage to achieve them. Our plans must be practical and well-rounded always.
I therefore look forward to your ideas, suggestions and plans not only as they relate to your individual primary responsibilities but also keeping in mind the bigger picture of a Smart and globally competitive State.
Let your institution – your Ministry or Agency speak for you. This is the strategic planning template that works for Lagos today and tomorrow.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!!!
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor, Lagos State,